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Arco, Idaho

Backcountry Ski on a Cinder Cone at Craters of the Moon

2 Miles Total - 500 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Sara Sheehy

Backcountry ski on cinder cones, surrounded by fields of lava.

Craters of the Moon National Monument is 1100 square miles of basalt lava and sagebrush. It looks like another planet: desolate in macro, beautiful in micro. 

Craters is most popular in the summer, when visitors from nearby Sun Valley arrive to hike on sun-baked lava hot enough to melt their shoes.

Winter is a particularly quiet season at Craters, and one of the most fun. Strap on cross country skis and glide the six mile loop road through cinder cones and lava fields. When there is adequate snow cover, park staff groom the road for both skate and classic skis.

For the more adventurous, Craters allows backcountry skiing on the cinder cones. Though the grades are gentle, come prepared with the knowledge to read the snowpack and always carry avalanche safety gear.

Winter parking is at the visitor center, and all access into the park is via snowshoe or ski. Park entrance during the winter is free, and there is no fee to use the groomed trails.

Be sure to check Current Conditions before traveling to Craters, as the ski trails are dependent on a solid snowpack.

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Tags

Snowboarding
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Scenic

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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Idaho is a picturesque state filled with beautiful scenery and warm, wonderful people. It's an ideal destination for family travelers, outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers, or those just looking for a relaxing getaway.

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